This election marks one of the most exciting yet disgusting displays in American political history. We have an election contested on the idea that ballots were deliberately not counted, yet we still declared George W. Bush the winner. Al Gore refuses to concede despite the votes in Florida being counted twice, with Bush in the lead both times. Gore does not like the results and will use any means necessary to change them including involving our election in court battles and public relations wars.
The battle for the presidency has taken a nasty turn. The official certification of the ballots in Florida took place Sunday, with Bush winning the state by a little over 500 votes. Gore claims this election is not over until the 9,000 under-votes in Miami-Dade County are counted. Every ballot in Miami-Dade was counted at least twice – once on election night and again during the automatic recount.
In every election, a significant number of ballots are cast by voters without choosing a candidate for president. That’s what these votes are. For example, in this election, five percent of the voters in Idaho, 3.9 percent of the voters in Illinois and 3.6 percent of the voters in Wyoming cast a ballot without registering a vote for president. Why would we place votes where they were not meant to be, claiming the intent of the voter is what we are measuring? Basically, what Gore is asking for is that the process for voting and counting the ballots change after the election takes place. This practice is immoral and unfair to all candidates running for office, and the people of Florida will not stand for it.
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear this case on whether to uphold the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling on hand counts. Traditionally, this Court likes to stay out of the affairs of individual states and may uphold the Florida court’s ruling. Gore is also contesting the results in Florida, demanding yet another recount. It is important to note that any further recounts will not make the vote more accurate only more recent. The Gore campaign is simply trying to stall the election results so as not to count the Florida electoral votes, while dishonorably claiming this entire drawn-out process is being pursued all in the name of democracy.
Governor Bush has won a majority of the electoral votes, making him the president-elect of the United States. Al Gore and his campaign are forcing the American people to resent his interference with the election results. We will not stand for a country divided on one man’s unfulfilled ambition. The time has come to move on with the presidential transition and unite behind our next president, George W. Bush. -The writer is vice chair of the GW College Republicans.